15 Nov 2013: Finally finshed my twelve decreases for the first part of second sleeve - very puzzled by the notes in my notebook, which don’t correspond to the chart I drew out! (e.g. I’m somehow supposed to have 72 stitches at this point, after doing 12 decreases of 2 stitches each from 98 stitches at the armhole…) It doesn’t really matter, except that the two sleeves need to match each other.
Folding this sleeve against the other, currently tacked-in, sleeve and counting rows suggests that I need to do another 30 rows - which corresponds with ‘five decreases at 6-row intervals’ - and counting the number of stitches at the cuff suggests that there are circa 64 stitches at that point. My notes for knitting on the cuff also direct me to pick up 54 stitches ‘skipping every 6th crochet stitch’, which would suggest that I ought to have circa 54+9 stitches at the sleeve end. So It looks as if I do indeed need to decrease another 10 stitches from my current count of 74 (98-12*2).
18 Sep 2013: Finished cap of second sleeve.
10 Sept 2013: Completed first sleeve, which seems to fit. I used Navajo 3-ply technique to knit the cuff instead of doubling the wool as recommended in the pattern, purely and simply because this avoided having to wind off a second ball of unknown length. However, it produces a nice springy cuff which is not much thicker than the triple crochet of the sleeve, and grips well, so this should work for the welt too.
I picked up 54 stitches on No.11 needles to produce a cuff just over 6 inches in circumference - on 2x2 ribbing, this gave me an extra single-rib at either end, but since this was already my third attempt at picking up stitches, and pulling three strands through the crochet loops was far from easy (I used a 2.5mm crochet hook), I couldn’t bear to do it yet again to get an even multiple of four stitches! No.11 needles feel very thick after the tiny crochet hooks I’ve been using with this yarn….
19 August 2013: Really worried about sleeve tension (the sleeve is at least an inch narrower than the pattern unless I squish it down - this crinkled acrylic yarn is inherently springy), so I decided I needed to try sewing it in to check that it fitted the armhole.
Fortunately the vertical tension is about right, and most of the sleeve cap consists of verticals; I still found myself ‘easing in’ the armhole to the sleeve rather than vice versa. There’s a certain tendency to wrinkle over the bust, which is either caused by this or the fact that I’ve put on half a stone since starting this project two years ago(!), but I think I can get away with this sleeve size.
Now all I have to do is continue down the endless decreases… another one decrease at 4 rows, then five more at six row intervals. Then I have to make a whole other sleeve!
6 August 2013: New hook seems to be working to duplicate old tension… but I’d forgotten just how slow crochet on this scale is… Another two decreases (of twelve!) finished.
26 June 2013: Put another two decreases on sleeve, but discovered that due to tension issues the new section of the sleeve was actually getting wider despite reduced numbers of stitches! Ripped back and tried making new tension square using 1.5mm hook in place of 1.75mm. This is closer to the 8tr/inch horizontal tension, but still taller than the 5 rows/inch vertical tension - maybe I should just rip the whole sleeve out and start again using the original pattern measurements (7sts/4rows/inch) and ignoring all my tension-related recalculations!
7 May 2013: Completed first sleeve cap. Still very worried about tension, but wrapping the piece around my shoulder suggests that it will probably work out all right. Only another 16 inches or so to go!
10 April 2013: Found missing sleeve pattern… being used as a bookmark for the relevant page! In fact I seem to have deduced everything correctly, and the extra armhole width is simply a result of sloppy cutting-out - an extra stitch on either side probably not necessary.
Calculated sleeve taper, working on the principle of a 17.5” sleeve minus 2” (knitted) cuff and tapering all the way from armhole, contrary to normal practice, since I want to lose extra width at this point as soon as possible; this is effectively acting as a gusset. Taper by 1 decrease every 4 rows twelve times, then every 6 rows five times = 17 stitches (per side) over 78 rows.
Started sleeve cap! Trying desperately to keep to old tension of 5 rows/inch, since my crochet technique has changed over the last 2 years and ‘proper’ technique tends to produce taller stitches for same horizontal tension… I think I may just about be able to get away with it.
9 April 2013: Yet again I’ve managed to keep the ‘wrong’ pattern piece - in this case the one I traced on the back of my calculations of the original sleeve cap and used as a mock-up for the shape of my test piece - and thrown away the one I actually needed, i.e. the one with the graphed increases and decreases!
I assumed it would be fairly easy to recreate the latter by tracing back over graph paper of the right size (8sts x 5 rows / inch), but it wasn’t until I unearthed the notebook with my original algebraic calculations in it that I was able to deduce that I had used 12 2-stitch decreases coupled with 6 1-stitch decreases, supposedly to achieve a total reduction of 32 stitches or 4” per side of the sleeve cap. And it wasn’t until I tried drawing this out again I realised that (24+6) only gives a total of 30 stitches decrease! So I had to use 13 2-stitch decreases to achieve the claimed slope of 32 stitches over 20 rows (the 20th row being the 3-stitch armhole reduction).
Moreover the figures in the calculations (3 stitches at each armhole plus 4” gradient plus 3.5” sleeve cap = 3 + 32 + 28 + 32 + 3) actually add up to 98 stitches instead of the claimed 96 (12”) - and when I measure the actual traced piece, this is 12.5” at the armholes (100 stitches)….
Probably looks as if I shall have to do a 4-stitch decrease at each armhole to get the existing shape - which has at least been proven to work in practice, if not in theory.
8 April 2013: Finally got round to tacking-up everything so that I can sew the trial sleeve on - it fits! (Two years later….)
Unfortunately the jabot now doesn’t fit, due to my having lowered the back neck and thus extended the entire neckline in addition to changing its shape. Not a tragedy as I was half-planning to remake this in the new strawberry yarn to match the rest of the jumper anyway - but it looks as if I’ll have to rethink the design for this as well.
23 March 2013: Completed successful mock-up on second attempt - now I only have to sew it in and try it on. The latter prospect is likely to be the challenge as the temperature has been struggling to reach 60 degrees indoors for the last few weeks; I usually try to spend as short a period as possible with my clothes off!
13 March 2013: Finally retrieved the cobweb jumper drafts that I had been sitting on (literally - they’re now moulded to the shape of the chair seat they have occupied for so long!) and had another go at drafting sleeves. Original sleeve cap turns out to have been very shallow (just as in pattern picture in fact…) but as I have added an inch and a half to the armhole size, possibly a bad idea, I shall have to add a couple of inches at least to the sleeve cap depth.
Spent about four hours re-drafting due to a series of false assumptions (including the fact that I seem to have thrown away my back piece draft and kept two fronts instead…) New shallow-ish sleeve cap designed with 15.5” circumference in place of original 13.5” (for a 14” armhole?!) Next task is to try to make up a mock-up and test again.
I think we can call the jumper officially un-hibernated :-D
3 Dec 2011: Draft of sleeves didn’t work out. Still stuck.
27 June 2011: redraft of body pieces is looking good! Now to learn how to draft sleeves.